Home advice website HomeTips.com
On many of our pages, more than 10 percent of our visitors click through to the advertisers for more information," because ads are very relevant for visitors.
HomeTips now sees more than 1 million online visitors each month. "Solid content is the secret to developing a following," says Vandervort. "If you write expert content with your visitor's needs in mind, the rest will follow."
n November of 2000, when he was just 14 years old, Igor Sushko founded AutomotiveForums.com because of his enthusiasm for cars and desire to spread knowledge to others. Today, the site receives about 950,000 unique visitors each month on more than 1,000 forums. There, car buffs can discuss virtually any car make and model with more than 150 expert moderators and thousands of other enthusiasts. Membership growth has maintained its steady pace and is nearing 500,000 worldwide.
In August 2003, he began running Google AdSenseTM ads throughout the site. In addition to AdSense ads, Sushko expanded his options by trying other contextual advertising networks.
"AdSense ads are extremely well targeted and non-invasive to my visitors," says Sushko. "They’re more like supplementary content than ads, which makes them useful for visitors."
"AdSense is a win-win for all entities," he says. "It adds value to my website, and not just from a revenue standpoint. The ads are also useful for visitors."
Erin Billy moved to San Francisco in 1997, and continued his passion for teaching through a web-based business, TestMagic.com. Today he offers online and offline classes in San Francisco for those applying to American universities and colleges. He also offers preparation courses and reference guides for high-level tests, including the GMAT, SAT, and GRE.
After losing money on the website for the first couple of years, Billy says he made a small profit by the third year. Three years after that, he has two full-time employees on the payroll, and contracts with five teachers for classroom training. Now his challenge is to grow the business and make it more profitable. Currently, he gets about 60,000 daily page views from 3,000 unique visitors. To make money from that traffic, he has tried a variety of advertising strategies. "I've tried most of the media types I can think of," he says.
He incorporated AdSense on virtually all of the site's pages.
"Good advertising gives people more options, more information," Billy says. "And text ads are my all-around favorites," adding that, "It's great that Google chooses the best combination of relevance and high-paying ads." Now he gets "very impressive" AdSense revenue – about four times what he typically gets from all affiliate programs and ad networks combined. Billy invests this additional income in TestMagic to give his users more of what they want. "I can now afford to outsource some technical and creative work that I previously had to do myself. The ad revenue helps me speed things up."
Billy believes that AdSense revenue "has infused small publishers and webmasters like me with cash they could never have had before." And he continues, "I honestly believe that AdSense is helping users in a ‘second wave' of the Internet. It's a great equalizer, enabling people like me with a lot of knowledge and a useful service, but not much financial backing, to build a business that makes money." So when associates ask, Billy's advice is "start using AdSense right away."
Based in San Francisco, Haughey has been a website developer, designer, and publisher for years, and is an active blogger as well. One of his blog sites, PVRBlog.com, is all about personal video recorders (PVRs), especially the TiVo® brand. Nearly a year ago Haughey began posting messages about this growing consumer electronics category, including notes on TiVo features, shortcuts, new models, reviews, hacks, and PVR industry news.
While Haughey didn't intend for PVRBlog to become a business, its popularity grew - up to 5,000 people read it every day - and he wondered if there was a way to cover costs for hosting and storage. He tried adsense.
"I can't believe how lucrative AdSense is," Haughey says. "On the very first day it was on, I made twice what it costs me for monthly hosting, storage, and bandwidth overage fees," adding that he's making money because the ads are relevant and readable. "The targeting is perfect for me," he says. Since PVRBlog is about a product, he gets a lot of traffic from searchers. "People are constantly looking for TiVo and PVR products and services. I'm lucky to have a blog that is product focused, because the ads all relate to PVR products and services."
"I encourage people who can write and have active blogs dedicated to a single subject to support them through AdSense ads," he says. "It's definitely lucrative, and you can concentrate on your subject and your site." In particular, he feels the program is "really great for bloggers who worry about the wrong kind of commercialism creeping in, because AdSense ads really work in the context of blog pages."